How Much Did 4 Months Travelling in Central America Cost

“How much does travelling in Central America cost?” is a common question asked by anyone preparing to visit the region. Depending on your style of travel, the costs can vary widely. A luxury hotel can cost you hundreds of dollars per night whereas camping will usually cost less than $5 a night. Some activities can set you back quite a bit too, but thankfully for the budget traveller, Central America is a very affordable place to spend your time surfing, snorkeling, or just plain lounging on the beach.

My 4 months began with a flight to Cancun and ended with sailing trip out of Panama. Along the way I came across Mayan ruins, gorgeous beaches, excellent waves, colonial towns, volcanoes, islands, and so much more. The region has so many places to see and activities to do that 4 months was seriously not enough. And had I stayed longer, my cost basis would’ve been even lower.

Reason Cost (US$) % of Total
Flights 209.65 3.42%
Sailboat from Panama 550.00 8.98%
Accommodation 892.89 14.59%
Eating Out 1573.11 25.70%
Groceries 235.06 3.84%
Tours & Fees 305.97 5.00%
Booze 706.77 11.55%
Bus Rides 338.62 5.53%
Scuba and Snorkeling 165.00 2.70%
Taxis 179.57 2.93%
Boats and Ferries 126.16 2.06%
Spanish Lessons 196.91 3.22%
Arrival / Departure Tax 70.42 1.15%
Laundry 15.74 0.26%
Other expenses 555.84 9.08%
Grand Total 6121.71 100.00%

Looking back, I spent quite a bit more than I expected to but I also ate like a king. $1530 is not bad in the grand scheme of things, but it’s definitely very easy to spend closer to 1100 or 1200 per month in this part of the world… unless you eat as much as I do. Or spend a lot of time in Belize or Costa Rica, the most expensive countries in the region. But even for people with gluttonous appetites Central America is still a real budget traveller’s paradise and full of experiences that you won’t forget.

El Salvador - El Tunco - Sunset 01

Amazing waves and sunsets like this one in El Tunco are waiting for you.


Where in Central America have you been dreaming about going to? If you thought you couldn’t afford it, do you think you can now?

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